Robot lawn mowers can be a gardener’s best friend. Especially if you are not willing to spend entire Sunday afternoons trying to make your lawn professionally cut and tidy, you might have already started to wonder how robot lawn mowers work.
No wonder you are a little dubious about these lawnmowers! They promise a lot and, if you are not in the field of technologies, you might be confused about how these machines can be so helpful. However, be assured that some of the best robot lawn mowers are state-of-the-art pieces of machinery that have developed through history to become highly functional, offering cutting-edge technology, navigation sensors and even the ability to control them through a smartphone app.
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How Do Robot Lawn Mowers Work?
Using a simple mapping system, robotic mowers can detect where you have laid the perimeter wire around your lawn. As they realise they are approaching it, they will change course and proceed in cutting the grass of your lawn.
Even better, the technology of robot mowers allows them to avoid running multiple times in the same area and therefore leaving unevenly cut patches.
More advanced robot mowers are equipped with a 360-degree radar (sometimes laser) sensor. This allows the machine to identify potential obstacles on the way, increasing the level of safety of your robotic lawn mower.
It seems fairly simple, right? However, they cost a lot of money and there is much more to it that you should know!
What you need to know to understand how robot Lawn Mowers Work
Of course, the main task of a lawnmower is to cut the grass. However, robotic lawn mowers use a completely different technology from what you might have seen in a manual lawn mowing machine.
Normal lawnmowers tend to cut the grass much faster and therefore need much a more powerful cutting blade to get the job done quickly and with a limited amount of energy. These are often also powered by petrol or fuel, which makes them much more powerful and noisy (as well as contributing to pollution and causing damage to the earth).
However, while robot lawn mower models are designed to be autonomous, you will realize that they get the job done slower, but without the noise. This is mainly due to the size of the spinning blades, the speed they’re mowing at, and the power they are set on.
While the first might be slightly more efficient, the second makes the mower much quieter as it goes around the required space in your yard.
As a homeowner, it’s up to you to decide which one of these will be most suitable for your house. Consider factors like lawn care, cost, scheduling and control capabilities and any particular benefits each one has to offer. For reliable, automated mowing services, individuals should consider robotic mowers for their gardens.
The Chassis And Wheels of your robot lawnmower
As for other similar types of machines, the chassis and wheels of your robot lawn mower are the components of the skeleton of your device. While it can seem a simple construction at first, there are a couple of factors that are taken into consideration and highly increase the efficiency of your robotic mower.
- Firstly, let’s have a look at the wheels of your robot mower. These are designed to be extremely delicate on your grass to avoid damaging lawns while taking care of it. If the mower wasn’t delicate, you would see track marks in no time!
- Secondly, aside from ensuring that the wheels work properly, the chassis of your robotic mower is designed to make the machine incredibly safe. The blades of rotating discs are usually positioned within the chassis, which reduces the chances of accidents while taking care of lawns. It is incredibly difficult to access the grass blades while your robot mowers are powered on! This means that your blades can have a sharp edge without posing a risk.
- Lastly, robot lawn mowers’ low centre of gravity and powerful motors allows them to move easily across hills and bumpier terrain with small chances of toppling over. The resistance of your robot mower is often directly linked to the type of model you have invested in. More expensive versions can drive along considerable gradients of up to 25 degrees and may have a wider cutting width.
The computer system of robot lawnmowers
While it is possible to create incredibly efficient lawn mowers that will cut your grass in no time while being silent and consuming a minimum amount of energy, this would not be affordable in any sense.
That is why most manufacturers opt for compromising. Keeping the computer system of robot lawn mower allows the machine to be affordable by anybody.
Among the essential tasks that your robot mower is programmed to execute, you will notice simple commands such as avoiding obstacles, recognise wire boundaries, and mowing of the entire lawn.
The most important instructions embedded in the on-board computer of robot mowers are the safety features. These are essentials, as your robotic automower will be operating unsupervised for days at a time.
Robot mowers are able to clean up lawns on their own and have their blades tucked away safely to prevent risk, what more could you ask for in a lawn mower?
How doe robot lawn mowers know where to cut the grass?
As you have bought your robot mower, you would have realised that it needs a perimeter wire to function properly. Before experimenting with your robot, make sure you have correctly placed the guide wire around the edges of your lawn to create an area where your mower can clean without any issue.
This can take up to 2 hours to be set up properly, depending on how big your garden is. The perimeter wire can also be placed around obstacles and objects of your lawn and buried up to 20cm down in the ground.
If you prefer to leave it on the surface of your grass, make sure it is fixed properly and don’t worry, it will be invisible once the grass has grown over it.
Random mower systems
If you are wondering what to expect after buying your robotic mower, there are a couple of factors to consider. Firstly, lawnmowers are designed to run in a straight line until they recognizes an object or the boundary wire. From here, it will either turn around or take up a different direction.
However, depending on how much you are willing to invest in your next robotic lawn mower, you could even own a unit with an integrated GPS system through which you can set specific paths and even patterns throughout the area, negating the need to have boundary wires all over the place.
Battery and Solar Power
Most robot lawn mowers run on standard batteries. However, before choosing the perfect robot for your garden, make sure that the ones mounted on it are lithium rather than classic acid ones.
In fact, the first ones only take about 3 hours to be fully charged, while the second ones can take up to 16! Even though most manufacturers are swapping to lithium, some cheaper and older models still running on acid ones. If you find one that has rechargeable batteries, make sure it comes with a charging station.
Alternatively, since 1995, it is possible to find fully solar-powered robot mowers, which have then been perfected since 2004. These are even better for both you and the planet!
Once charged your robot mower will head off to start trimming the tall grass in your lawn. As the battery drops, it will return to the charging station before heading off again to cut any grass it left. You really don’t need to get involved.
Robot Lawn Mowers: what to look out for!
If you are searching for your first robot mower and you are not yet willing to invest an incredible amount of money to have an integrated GPS system in your robot, perimeter wires may need as much maintenance as the lawn mowing robot itself.
Breakage can happen due to freezing conditions, burrowing animals, or just expositions to natural elements. Alternatively, you might just want to change up the shape of your garden. If that’s the case, picking up the boundary wire lines can be quite quick if you have buried it, or you are not sure where it is precisely.
They can be great to define an area or pattern to be mowed, but as you can see the perimeter wire technology does have its weaknesses.
How Do Robot Lawn Mowers Work – final thoughts
If you want some further guidance, be sure to check out some of our other articles about robotic lawn mowers that can give you all the information you need to buy with confidence.
You could also check out some consumer reports or look into systems within your price range. Often, the most effective way to choose the ideal lawn mowers is to get more information on what’s on offer before making a decision.